Leaders from 22 Allied countries have signed a Letter of Commitment (LoC) for the new Nato Innovation Fund.
The signing took place during a ceremony hosted by Nato Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.
Participating allies, including the UK, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Poland and others, launched the first multi-sovereign venture capital fund on the last day of the Nato Summit in Madrid.
Through the fund, Nato will invest €1bn in early-stage start-ups and other venture capital funds working on dual-use emerging technologies.
The alliance will prioritise works on artificial intelligence, big data processing, quantum-enabled technologies, biotechnology and human enhancement, energy, autonomy, and space.
Stoltenberg said that maintaining a technological edge has enabled the alliance to stay strong and keep nations safe for more than 70 years.
He said: “This fund is unique. It is essential that we do everything in our power to remain at the forefront of innovation and technology.
“With a 15-year timeframe, the Nato Innovation Fund will help bring to life those nascent technologies that have the power to transform our security in the decades to come, strengthening the alliance’s innovation ecosystem, and bolstering the security of our one billion citizens.”
The new fund also seeks to strengthen Nato’s Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic (DIANA) initiative that supports emerging and disruptive technologies.
DIANA was introduced in April this year to enable defence personnel to work with the alliance’s researchers, technology companies, and start-ups to address key challenges.
At the Nato Summit in Madrid, member nations decided that innovators working under DIANA’s programmes will have access to a network of nine accelerator sites and 63 test centres across Europe and North America.